Missing stars and game-time decisions are likely to be the questions facing DFS players when NBA tip-off approaches Friday night.
With a substantial list of value still to be uncovered and the emergence of information regarding ins and outs still to come, few professionals are likely to make their best lineups until the last hour before lineup lock.
Injuries sidelining major stars Anthony Davis (pictured), Kyle Lowry, DeMarcus Cousins, as well as, a group of second-tier stars including Mike Conley, Enes Kanter, Taj Gibson and Nerlens Noel, leave analysts waiting for the last possible minute on what should be a wild and wacky final hour before a 12-game card.
New Orleans’ superstar Davis missed last night’s game at PHX after badly turning his ankle two games ago. Even though Alexis Ajinca is tabbed to get extra minutes in Davis has to miss again, his price has already been elevated and may not contain even the increased usage.
The Kings’ Cousins is a major fantasy force in every game, but a calf injury could elevate the current values of Rudy Gay, Jason Thompson and Ray McCallum.
Toronto’s Lowry has been on a tear, but co-star DeMar DeRozan could be asked to shoulder more load if the Raptors’ PG is still suffering from a back injury. PG Greivis Vasquez and Lou Williams would also receive a bump.
Memphis’ Conley is slowed by a leg injury, which could lead value-seekers to Beno Udrih, especially on DraftKings, and Nick Calathes.
Oklahoma City’s Enes Kanter could leave the Thunder front-court even more depleted after he left last game with an ankle injury. That would give us no choice but to consider Mitch McGary and Steven Adams.
The Sixers’ Nerlens Noel, playing his best basketball of late, is questionable with an ankle injury, which would open the door for a possible look at Thomas Robinson.
In Chicago, some positive injury news, as Taj Gibson is probable and set to return from an ankle injury after missing the last few games. This will likely end the value run of Nikola Mirotic until price adjustments can be considered.
John Wall, of Washington, also is nursing a sore ankle, but his status is probable against the Clippers tonight. Ramon Sessions would be the player to get a bump, but we expect Wall to be in there.
Meanwhile, while we wait, you could build a balanced lineup and focus on your cash games with assured minutes, which would probably have to be without Russell Westbrook, even though there are plenty of values out there to be had already.
However, when the alerts start flying late tomorrow, it will likely be time to switch to those underpriced starters, then load up at the top with two, or maybe even three, of your top-tier favorites.